( Last Update: 2003/10/23)
I. Political Relations
Traditional friendship between China and Vietnam as well as the people of the two countries has enjoyed a long history. On January 18, 1950, the two countries established diplomatic relations. The Chinese Government and people rendered full support to the long-term revolutionary struggle of Vietnam against France and the US, and provided Vietnam with huge military and economic aid. Vietnam regards China as its strong backing, and the two countries have developed extensive cooperation in the political, military and economic fields. In late 1970s, however, Sino-Vietnamese relations deteriorated. In November 1991, at the invitation of General Secretary Jiang Zemin and Premier Li Peng, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party Do Muoi and Chairman of the Council of Minister Vo Van Kiet visited China, and both sides declared in end to the past and the start into the future So that the party and state relations between the two countries were normalized.
Since then, the party and state relations between China and Vietnam have seen an overall restoration and in-depth development. There were frequent contacts and exchanges of visits between the leaders of the two countries, and friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields between the two sides were continuously strengthened. At the start of 1999, the general secretaries of the two parties set "long-standing stability, facing the future, neighborliness and friendship, all-round cooperation" as the framework guiding Sino-Vietnamese relations in the new century. In 2000, the two countries issued the Joint Statement on all-round cooperation in the new century, drawing up a concrete programme for the development of friendly relations and cooperation between them. Between February 17 and March 1, 2002, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party cum President Jiang Zemin paid an official goodwill visit to Vietnam. The leaders of the two countries had an in-depth exchange of views on strengthening the party and state relations between China and Vietnam in the new century; and agreed to maintain high-level contacts, expand in depth economic and trade cooperation, educate the people of the two countries with the spirit of long-standing Sino-Vietnamese friendship, speed up the demarcation of the Sino-Vietnamese land border and follow-up talks concerning the agreement on fishing cooperation in the Beibu Gulf, deepen the exchange of the party and state-governing experiences and theories guiding socialist construction, expand and deepen the exchanges between the two foreign ministries, defence ministries, public security ministries and youth departments. General Secretary Jiang Zemin delivered an address entitled Work Together for a Better Tomorrow of the Sino-Vietnamese Relations in Hanoi National University.
Between April 7 and 11, 2003, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nong Dac Manh paid a working visit to China. The party and state leaders of the two countries agreed to further strengthen and develop traditional friendship and overall cooperation between China and Vietnam, enrich and augment the meaning of the following guiding policy "long-standing stability, facing the future, Neighborliness and Friendship, all-round cooperation "so as to upgrade Sino-Vietnamese relations to a new level and ensure that the two countries and their people will always be good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners. From 13 to 15 June, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing visited Vietnam, exchanged in-depth views and reached broad consensus on strengthening the bilateral relations, expanding mutually beneficial cooperation and international and regional issues of common concern with the Vietnamese leaders.
II. Economic and Trade Relations
Since the normalization of Sino-Vietnamese relations, the two countries have signed the agreements on trade, investment protection, banking settlement, avoidance of double taxation and border trade and sep up a committee on economic and trade cooperation in order to promote rapid development of the bilateral economic and trade relations.
Bilateral trade volume has increased considerably. China is now Vietnam's 2nd largest trading partner. In 2002, Sino-Vietnamese trade volume reached US$ 3.264 billion, up 15.8% from 2001, of which China's major exports were motor-cycles, machinery equipment, refined petrol and light industrial products and its imports from Vietnam were crude oil, minerals and farming products. Over the recent years, the border trade volume between the two countries have amounted to some US$ 0.4 billion on the average annually.
By the end of 2002, China had invested more than 230 projects in Vietnam, with its contractual value exceeding US$ 0.37 billion. Its investment mainly covered machinery and electrical product-assembling, food-processing and real estate, in 2002, China sped up its direct investment in Vietnam remarkably, approved 60 new projects, with the contractual value reaching US$ 70.83 million, up 39.5% and 17% respectively from 2001. The number of China's projects in Vietnam and contractual value ranked the 3rd and 7th place respectively compared with these countries and regions investing in Vietnam in the same year. Since 1991, China and Vietnam have signed 2700 contracts, including contracted projects, labor cooperation and design consultancy, with the contractual total exceeding US$ 1.4 billion.
III. Exchanges and Cooperation in Other Area
Since the normalization of Sino-Vietnamese relations, exchanges and cooperation in the cultural, scientific, technological, educational and military areas have developed in depth. There have also been increasing contacts between the military, parties, governments and people's organizations, provinces and cities and the areas for cooperation kept expanding. Both sides organized seminars on socialist theories and exchange activities between youth and children of the two countries. Nearly 40 documents on cooperation in the diplomatic, public security, trade, economic, scientific, technological, cultural and legislative areas have been signed between the departments concerned of the two countries. Air and sea transport as well as railway have been opened between the two countries, so have the 7 pairs of national-level ports in the frontier provinces and regions of the two countries.
IV. Border Problems
Territorial dispute over the Sino-Vietnamese borders consists of the demarcation of land boundary, and the Beibu Gulf as well as sovereignty over maritime rights and interests in the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Both sides have agreed to resolve these problems through peaceful talks and consultations.
Thanks to the efforts from both sides, the two countries officially signed the treaty on the land Boundary between China and Vietnam on December 30, 1999 in Hanoi. On July 6, 2000, both sides exchanged the treaty's instruments of ractification in Beijing, and the Treaty on the Land Boundary officially came into force. Boundary-surveying and marks-erecting are carrying out along the Sino-Vietnamese land border.
On December 25, 2000, the two countries officially signed in Beijing the Agreement on the Demarcation of the Beibu Gulf Territorial Waters, Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelf, and Agreement on Fishing Cooperation in the Beibu Gulf. The follow-up talks over the agreement on fishing cooperation in the Beibu Gulf are in full swing.
Since 1995, Sino-Vietnamese expert group on maritime problems was founded, 7 rounds of talks on the dispute over the Nansha Islands have been held. Both sides agree to find a proper solution to the dispute through friendly consultations, and at the same time explore the possibility for cooperation.
Appendixes: Exchanges of High-Level Visits between the Two Countries
1. The Chinese Leaders Who Have Visited Vietnam
Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party cum Premier Li Peng (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, 1992) General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party cum President Jiang Zemin (Nov. 19 to 22, 1994)
Member of the Standing Committee of PB of CCCCP cum Premier Li Peng (attending the 8th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party between June 27 and 28, 1996) Member of the Standing Committee of PB of CCCCP cum Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Qiao Shi (Nov. 17 to 21, 1996)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Chairman of CCPCC Li Ruihuan (Dec. 7 to 10, 1997)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Secretary of the Secretariat Wei Jianxin (Sept. 17 to 22, 1998)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Vice-President Hu Jintao (Dec. 17 to 19, 1998)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Premier Zhu Rongji (Dec. 1 to 4, 1999)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Vice-President Hu Jintao (attending the 9th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party, April 19 to 22, 2001)
Member of the SC of PB of CCCCP cum Chairman of the SC of the NPC Li Peng (Sept. 7-10, 2001)
General Secretary of CCCCP cum President Jiang Zemin (Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2002)
2. The Vietnamese Leaders Who Have Visited China
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party Do Muoi (Nov. 5 to 10, 1991)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vo Van Kiet (Nov. 5 to 10, 1991)
President of Vietnam Le Duc Anh (Nov. 9 to 15, 1993)
Chairman of the National Congress Nong Duc Manh (Feb. 21 to Mar. 1, 1995)
General Secretary of the CC of the VCP Do Muoi (Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, 1995)
Premier of the Vietnamese Government Phan VanKhai (Oct. 19 to 23, 1998)
General Secretary of the CC of the VCP Le Kha Phieu (Feb. 25 to Mar. 2, 1999)
Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the VCP Pham The Duyet (Oct. 8 to 10, 1999)
Chairman of the National Congress Nong Duc Manh (April 4 to 10, 2000)
Premier of the Vietnamese Government Phan Van Khai (Sept. 25 to 28, 2000)
President of Vietnam Tran Duc Luong (Dec. 25 to 29, 2000)
General Secretary of the CC of the VCP Nong Duc Manh (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, 2001)
Chairman of the National Congress Nguyen Van An (April 12 to 21, 2002)
General Secretary Nong Duc Manh (April 7 to 11, 2003)